Online reports surfaced earlier this week claiming Grammy winner Kelly Rowland had been dropped by record label, Universal Republic. The rumors began when blog sites noticed she was on longer featured on the label’s website.
AlwaysAList.com has spoken to sources close to the situation who assured us exclusively, what’s being reported is far from the truth.
The former Destiny’s Child diva signed with Universal Motown back in 2010 while long-time executive Sylvia Rhone was at the helm. Rowland’s first album for Universal Motown, “Here I Am” included the single ‘Motivation,’ which featured Lil’ Wayne and sold two-million copies.
A month before Rowland released that CD, Rhone left the label as part of the company’s restructuring. Rowland was re-assigned to Universal Republic, a label division in the Universal system with a history of failed urban music releases.
For example, Universal Republic is also the record label home for the TV show “The Voice.” The label released season one winner Javier Colon’s R&B album, “Come Through for You” and it went virtually unnoticed. Season two winner Jermaine Paul’s debut CD has yet to materialize more than two years after his victory. Universal Republic has also released R&B albums by India.Arie and newcomer Daley, and both have suffered from lackluster sales.
Our sources admit that Rowland became frustrated with her record company even before she dropped her fourth solo offering, “Talk a Good Game” in June 2013. Despite the CD’s first single ‘Kisses Down Low’ being a radio smash and selling more than a half-million copies—certified gold by RIAA—and follow-up singles ‘Dirty Laundry’ and ‘Ice’ both being Top 10 at radio; “Talk a Good Game” only sold 215,000 units in total.
Apparently, when the 33-year-old vocalist signed on to be a judge for the third season of “The X-Factor,” her team asked the label to release a new single to capitalize off the eight million viewers the show averaged each week. The label chose not to capitalize off of Rowland’s involvement on the show and the singer asked to be released from her contact.
Universal Republic quietly allowed Rowland to become a free agent in December 2013. Unbeknownst to fans, the singer has already been recording new tracks for a fifth studio album and has been entertaining new offers from record companies interested in signing her.
Rowland was nominated for a 2014 Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group for her collaboration with Fantasia and Missy Elliott on ‘Without Me.’ Additionally, she also duet with R&B crooner Joe for his new single ‘Love & Sex Pt. 2,’ and has recently recorded collaborations with Beyoncé, Pusha T, Sean Paul, Pitbull, R. Kelly, Ludacris and Young Jeezy on their respective albums.
Universal Republic has not commented on this story. AlwaysAList.com reached out to Rowland’s rep and await follow-up.